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Come, let us sup betimes; that afterwards
We may digest our complots in some form.



Before Lord Hastings' House.

Enter a Messenger. Mess. My lord, my lord,

[Knocking Hast. [Within.] Who knocks? Mess.

One from lord Stanley. Hast. [Within.] What is't o'clock? Mess. Upon the stroke of four.

Enter HASTINGS. . Hast. Cannot thy master sleep the tedious nights ?

Mess. So it should seem by that I have to say. First, he commends him to your noble lordship.

Hast. And then,

Mess. And then he sends you word, he dreamt To-night the boar had rased off his helm : Besides, he says, there are two councils held; And that may be determin'd at the one, Which may make you and him to rue at the other. Therefore he sends to know your lordship's plea

sure, If presently, you will take horse with him, And with all speed post with him toward the north, To shun the danger that his soul divines.

Hast. Go, fellow, go, return unto thy lord; Bid him not fear the separated councils:

- the boar had rased off his helm:) By the boar, throughout this scene, is meant Gloster, who was called the boar, or the hog, from his having a boar for his cognizance, and one of the supporters of his coat of arms. STEEVENS.

His honour, and myself, are at the one;
And, at the other, is my good friend Catesby;
Where nothing can proceed, that toucheth us,
Whereof I shall not have intelligence.
Tell him, his fears are shallow, wanting instance:'
And for his dreams I wonder, he's so fond
To trust the mockery of unquiet slumbers:
To fly the boar, before the boar pursues,
Were to incense the boar to follow us,
And make pursuit, where he did mean no chase.
Go, bid thy master rise and come to me;
And we will both together to the Tower,
Where, he shall see, the boar will use us kindly.
Mess. I'll go, my lord, and tell him what you



Cate. Many good morrows to my noble lord! Hast. Good morrow, Catesby; you are early

stirring : What news, what news, in this our tottering state?

Cate. It is a reeling world, indeed, my lord; And, I believe, will never stand upright, Till Richard wear the garland of the realm. Hast. How! wear the garland? dost thou mean

the crown? Cate. Ay, my good lord. Hast. I'll have this crown of mine cut from my

shoulders, Before I'll see the crown so foul misplac'd. But canst thou guess that he doth aim at it?


9 His honour,] This was the usual address to noblemen in Shakspeare's time.

wanting instance:) That is, wanting some example or act of malevolence, by which they may be justified: or which, perhaps, is nearer to the true meaning, wanting any immediate ground or reason. Johnson.

Cate. Ay, on my life; and hopes to find you

forward Upon his party, for the gain thereof: And, thereupon, he sends you this good news,That, this same very day, your enemies, The kindred of the queen, must die at Pomfret.

Hast. Indeed, I am no mourner for that news, Because they have been still my adversaries: But, that I'll give my voice on Richard's side, To bar my master's heirs in true descent, , God knows, I will not do it, to the death. Cate. God keep your lordship in that gracious

Hast. But I shall laugh at this a twelve-month

That they, who brought me in my master's hate,
I live to look upon their tragedy.
Well, Catesby, ere a fortnight make me older,
I'll send some packing, that yet think not on't.

Cate. 'Tis a vile thing to die, my gracious lord, When men are unprepar'd, and look not for it.

Hast. O monstrous, monstrous! and so falls it out With Rivers, Vaughan, Grey: and so 'twill do With some men else, who think themselves as safe As thou, and I; who, as thou know'st, are dear To princely Richard, and to Buckingham. Cate. The princes both make high account of

you,For they account his head upon the bridge. [ Aside. Hast. I know, they do; and I have well deserv’d


Enter Stanley. Come on, come on, where is your boar-spear, man? Fear you the boar, and go so unprovided? Stan. My lord, good morrow; and good morrow,


You may jest on, but, by the holy rood,
I do not like these several councils, I.

Hast. My lord, I hold my life as dear as yours;
And never, in my life, I do protest,
Was it more precious to me than 'tis now:
Think you, but that I know our state secure,
I would be so triumphant as I am.
Stan. The lords at Pomfret, when they rode from

London, Were jocund, and suppos'd their states were sure, And they, indeed, had no cause to mistrust; But yet, you see, how soon the day o'er-cast. This sudden stab of rancour I misdoubt; Pray God, I say, I prove a needless coward! What, shall we toward the Tower? the day is spent. Hast. Come, come, have with you. Wot you

what, my lord ? To-day, the lords you talk of are beheaded. Stan. They, for their truth, might better wear

their heads, Than some, that have accus'd them, wear their hats. But come, my lord, let’s away.

Enter a Pursuivant.

Hast. Go on before, I'll talk with this good fel

low. (Exeunt Stan. and CATESBY. How now, sirrah? how goes the world with thee?

Purs. The better, that your lordship please to ask.

Hast. I tell thee, man, 'tis better with me now, Than when thou met'st me last where now we meet: Then was I going prisoner to the Tower, By the suggestion of the queen's allies; But now, I tell thee, (keep it to thyself,)

the holy rood,] i, e. the cross.

I misdoubt ;] i. e. suspect it of danger. They, for their truth,] That is, with respect to their honesty. VOL. VII.


This day those enemies are put to death,
And I in better state than ere I was.
Purs. God hold it, to your honour's good con-

tent! Hast. Gramercy, fellow: There, drink that for

[Throwing him his Purse. Purs. I thank

[Exit Pursuivant.


your honour.

Enter a Priest.

Pr. Well inet, my lord; I am glad to see your

honour. Hast. I thank thee, good sir John, with all my

heart. I am in your debt for your last exercise;" Come the next Sabbath, and I will content you.

Buck. What, talking with a priest, lord cham-

berlain? Your friends at Pomfret, they do need the priest; Your honour hath no shriving work in hand."

Hast. 'Good faith, and when I met this holy man, The men you talk of came into my mind. What, go you toward the Tower?

Buck. I do, my lord; but long I cannot stay there: I shall return before your lordship thence.

Hast. Nay, like enough, for I stay dinner there. Buck. And supper too, although thou know'st it not.

[ Aside. Come, will you go? Hast. I'll wait upon your lordship.


-exercise;] for attending him in private to hear his confession; or, perhaps it means only religious exhortation, or lecture.

shriving work in hand. Shriving work is confession.

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